I am up in Hedmark to do some TOVE survey work and of course am using the opportunity to catch up with some of the special breeding species in this county. Firdt bird up was a Broad-billed Sandpiper (fjellmyrløper) at Åkersvika, Hamar. This bird was a migrant but its breeding grounds may well be in the same county. Water levels were very low here and there were plenty of other waders including 15 Temminck's Stints (temmincksnipe). This just underlines the criminality of the artificial raising of the water levels at Nordre Øyeren as there are clearly many waders still migrating that could made use of Øyerens rich feeding grounds. After this I confirmed what I have understoof that it isn't an owl year by failing to find Great Grey Owls (lappugle) on the nest.
I then went looking for Ortolan Buntings (hortulan) which are one of Norway's rarest birds. There was light rain in the air and very little song activity but I finally located at least 5 birds all of which seemed to be males and who seemed more interested in feeding than being territorial. It was at this time that I discovered that my loudspesker battery was dead and that there was no card in the camera. Talk about a monunental balls up. I did luckily have a spare card with me but strangely the camera had allowed me to take lots of "photos" earlier whereas before it has not allowed me to. This meant I didn't take the photos I thought I had of close up Slavonian Grebes (horndykker), Teal (krikkand) and Lapwings (vipe) that I thought had. I also had to restart on the Ortolans but got some half decent shots in the end.
I also found out it helps to know all the calls of Ortolan because the chaffinch (bokfink) I thought was calling above my head and which I was trying to ignore was in fact the bird I was after.
Another of Hedmarks special birds is Rustic Bunting and survey work this year has revealed only 5 territories of a species that will surely be extinct as a breeding bird within a couple of years. It was therefore no surprise that I failed to see any.
In my travels I did have a couple of flyover Golden Eagles (kongeørn) and at Lomnessjøen 16 Little Gulls (dverggmåke) but not the White-winged Black Tern seen there at the weekend. A large recently ploughed field held 21 Crane, 18 Golden Plover and best of all 6 Dotterel (boltit) waiting for the snow to melt on the mountains.
I had hoped to get up to the fabled Nekmyrene and see lekking Ruff (brushane) but after paying the toll I found that the road to the marshes was closed with 10km to go. This is presumably because of snow further up but it would have been nice with a notice at the (self service) toll station.